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File photo/The Herald-Dispatch

The 8th Street bridge at Ritter Park, shown here on Jan. 15, 2009, has been identified as being in "dire" need of replacement, according to Huntington city officials.

HUNTINGTON — Members of Huntington City Council will vote on an ordinance Monday night to begin replacement of the 8th Street Bridge.

If approved, the ordinance will permit Mayor Steve Williams to enter into a contract with the West Virginia Department of Highways to replace the 115-year-old bridge spanning Fourpole Creek.

The city would agree to pay 20% of the project's $2.2 million cost, which would be $440,000. City Council members previously allocated money for the bridge's replacement in the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget.

The city has been discussing replacing the bridge for approximately 18 months, which included studies and planning documents, said Jim Insco, Public Works director.

"It's in dire need of replacement," Insco said. "The stability of the bridge is very questionable. We've done repairs over the past three years to give us additional life through Public Works."

Insco said the 8th Street Bridge replacement comes at the same time the State Department of Highways begins replacement of the 5th Street Bridge. However, the city has arranged that the 8th Street Bridge be replaced first, he said.

If approved, the bridge's replacement will take approximately 18 months to complete and will begin sometime in September.

Built in 1920, the 8th Street Bridge runs west of Ritter Park, spanning Fourpole Creek from 8th Street to McCoy Road.

The Division of Highways said railings on both bridges have deteriorated beyond normal repair and have lost columns, known as balusters. Both bridges received ratings of "poor" during recent inspections, according to the DOH.

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